INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Cell companies say they're trying to manage data on the nation's networks, and they're doing it by dialing down some customers' service to something similar to those old dial up speeds. It's called throttling.
"It's kind of like a car, when you throttle it back, when you slow it down a little bit," explained T-Mobile Store Manager David Ellinghausen.
Most cell companies are doing it. Verizon calls the practice "optimizing the network."
Throttling usually only affects the top 5 percent of all data users nationwide. If you're using too much data in your cell area you could be a target.
AT&T will slow customers down when they hit the data peak, and keep the slow pace for the rest of the billing cycle.
Dozens of viewers wrote to us on our Facebook page, some telling us they've been throttled before, and charged extra fees for what is supposed to be "unlimited" service.
"The reason we only slow them down instead of cutting them off or charging them more is so that it's completely unlimited, cause it is unlimited for the customer," added Ellinghausen with T-Mobile.
AT&T told us their most recent numbers show .5 percent of their total smartphone customer base was affected by the policy.
How much can you use before you get throttled? It all depends on what plan you have, and how many other users are on the network at the same time.
With T-Mobile, If you have a 2 gigabyte plan, that means you can watch about eight hours of movies per month, and load 16,000 web pages. If you have a 5 gigabyte plan, that means you can watch 20 hours of movies per month, and load 40,000 web pages. If you have a 10 gigabyte plan that means you can watch 40 hours of movies per month, and load 80,000 web pages.
T-Mobile offered the following tips to avoid getting throttled:
- Switch to Wi-Fi when possible.
- Don't stream as much music or as many movies.
- Keep in mind most cell companies will send you a warning text message when you're close to using too much data.
A lot of people enjoy the cold activities of winter like fishing and skating on the ice.
An Indianapolis man who pleaded guilty to bank robbery in which an accomplice was fatally shot by the FBI has been sentenced to 10.5 years in prison.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says Kerry Cooks will serve as defensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish through the Pinstripe Bowl after Bob Diaco was named head coach at UConn.